Social media is not just for employers.
Employees are turning to the internet for personal use, to vent about their employers or customers, and are contributors to a business’s reputation. Now more than ever employers need to consider implementing social media policies and defining for its employees how to communicate in the social media community.
Creating social media policies is more than just adding a couple of disclaimer lines in the company manual or employee handbook, social media policies should have its own section containing several attributes. Jason Falls, a social media strategist at Social Media Explorer LLC in Louisville, Kentucky agrees “It’s more than just telling employees what they can and cannot do on company computers.”
Consider the potential damage that could have been caused by Samuel Crisp, former Apple employee for posting negative comments about an Apple product. If an employee of Apple is dissatisfied then could it not be said that a potential customer of Apple could harbor the same feelings of the product? The answer is yes. Although Crisp had made his feelings privately known on his Facebook, one of his contacts on his list brought the posted comments to the store manager’s attention thus proving that private social media sites are not so private.
When considering creating a social media policy, group it into three sections: Employee, Corporate, and Company. Within each section have sub sections. Below is a list of topics Jason Falls suggests employers include:
• Employee Code of Conduct for Online Communications.
• Employee Code of Conduct for Company Representation in Online Communications
• Employee Blogging Disclosure Policy
• Employee Facebook Usage Policy
• Employee Personal Blog Policy
• Employee Personal Social Network Policy
• Employee Personal Twitter Policy
• Employee LinkeIn Policy
• Corporate Blogging Policy
• Corporate Blog Use Policy
• Corporate Blog Post Approval Process
• Corporate Blog Commenting Policy
• Corporate Facebook Brand Page Usage Policy
• Corporate Facebook Public Comment/Messaging Policy
•Corporate Twitter Account Policy
• Corporate YouTube Policy
• Corporate YouTube Public Comment Policy
• Company Password Policy
Factor in not only what employees are to avoid, but be sure to give them suggestions as to what is appropriate to publicize on the internet. Give actual examples, offer incentives to employees if their positive postings are boosting sales. At the end of the day, employees are hug contributors to the reputation of a business.